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Why we need climate action to avert glacial lake outburst floods in Bhutan

Bhutan does not contribute to global warming. In fact, it is the first carbon-negative country in the world, yet it must now bear the consequences of the actions of other countries, both near and far from its borders. 

Karma and his team, from the National Center for Hydrology and Meteorology – who spend several months in Lunana every year monitoring the glaciers and lakes – have long warned about a worst-case scenario of a combined explosion of water from the Thorthomi and Raphstreng glacial lakes. 

The two lakes are separated by a thin, weak ridge, whose collapse would lead to the convergence of the two lakes, triggering a massive outburst flood, four times more severe than the one in 1994.


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